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Music Technology Notes
Synthesisers
A device that generates sound
Can manipulate sounds
Analogue and digital versions
Types
Monophonic ­ One note at a time
Polyphonic ­ Many notes at a time
Additive ­ Adding sine waves together
Subtractive ­ Filtering partials of an audio
Filtering
LPF ­ Lets low frequencies…

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Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI)
An electronic language that sends information to digital instruments (e.g. synths
Tells digital instruments what to play and how to play it

Parameters
Modulation
Volume
Pan
Expression
Sustain
Reverb
Chorus
Patches
Acoustic and electric instruments
Sound effects
Noises
Sound samples
Keywords
Multi-timbral ­ several different…

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Microphones and capture
Dynamic ­ Reliable and robust, withstands loud sounds
Condenser ­ Wide dynamic range, delicate but superior quality
PZM (Pressure Zone Microphone) ­ Placed on large surfaces, no interference by reflections
DI (Direct Input) ­ Plugging an instrument straight in via a DI box, avoids spill
Positioning
Close…

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Effects

Delay based effects
Chorus ­ sound detuned and delayed by around 40ms
Phaser and flanger ­ combines two copies of the sound with one slightly delayed
Delay ­ stores and plays back sound after a length of time (echo)
Guitar based effects

Tremolo ­ rapid iteration of a single…

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Solving problems

Problem Solution
Distortion/wide dynamic range - Apply a compressor
- Adjust levels
No stereo field - Mix to stereo master
- Pan tracks
Poor balance - Multi track the recording and use faders to
adjust individual track levels
Muddy parts - Use EQ to remedy
- Position microphones…

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Recording instruments
Grand/upright piano

Condenser microphone
Stereo
One for bass and one for treble
Lid open
15-60cm from strings

Drum kit

Close mic each drum with dynamic microphones
2 condenser overheads
Cardioid pick ups
Close to each skin (15cm)
Acoustic guitar

Condenser microphone
Cardioid pick up
20cm away
Point where…

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Processing

Noise gate

A noise gate reduces the level of a signal that falls below a threshold

Threshold ­ the level above which signals are allowed through
Reduction ­ the amount by which the gain is reduced if a signal doesn't meet the threshold
Attack/hold/release ­ controls the opening, hold…

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